Tuesday, 26 April 2022
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
129. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the Connecting Ireland review following the recent public consultation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21071/22]
As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. It is the National Transport Authority (NTA) that has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally. The NTA also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including management of the Rural Transport Programme which operates under the TFI Local Link brand.
The Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan is a major national public transport initiative developed by the NTA with the aim of increasing public transport connectivity, particularly for people living outside the major cities and towns. As announced on 21st April, an acceleration of Connecting Ireland services has taken place in order to serve the dual purpose of meeting the demands of local communities and providing emergency public transport services to Ukrainian refugees housed in rural or isolated locations to ensure better access to our local communities. This acceleration of works will include additional stops, route modifications, and more services with the aim to increase connectivity.
In light of the NTA's responsibilities for the development of the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan, I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.